Trains For America

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Jeb Bush’s plan to kill passenger rail in Florida

The Bush family is just full of colorful characters. The Tampa Tribune tells the story of how special interests sold out the people of an entire state and region. They tell it better than me, so you need to see for yourself, but here is a tidbit.

The event highlighted the 61-mile passenger system that would take hundreds of cars off of crowded Orlando roads. But no one mentioned the larger plan behind the deal – a plan that could prevent the creation of passenger rail for the rest of Florida. It puts freight rail companies in control of where passenger lines will go and how much they will cost the taxpayers.

CSX is the winner in its deal with the state, critics say.

“Jeb set this thing up,” said Gus Demott, of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, who has been looking at the deal to assess how it will affect the union’s members. One thing he believes: “Once this deal is done, it’s going to be a windfall for CSX.”

The likely loser is the Tampa Bay area, particularly Lakeland.

Under the state’s new plan, commuter rail isn’t likely to come to Tampa for decades – if ever – because of CSX’s plans for unlimited freight increases in the area. That freight traffic will be routed through downtown Lakeland, where local officials fear years of expensive redevelopment efforts will be ruined.

Bush has defended the CSX deal as a strong public-private partnership. It would help both the people of Florida and the freight companies, which he said were vital to the state’s economy.

Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, Regional USA Passenger Rail

One Response

  1. Tim Lynch says:

    Jeb Bush and the Bush Family relationship to Southwest Air is still a factor against the public interest here in Florida. The Miami Herald Editorial Board published “Bullet Train Risk” on Saturday, 18 July. Naturally this relationship between that dubious Texas family and an airline was ignored, like a Fox New article! To say that I am disappointed in these South Florida weasels is an understatement!

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